You are correct. The symptoms you report are consistent with hypnagogia, not a mental illness. The feelings you experience are very real. The hallucinations (both physical feelings and visual) are not. What will help is dealing with the sleep disorder directly. You need a sleep hygiene program. I can give you a brief outline here but you do need to see a therapist who specializes in sleep disorders to individualize a treatment plan.
Generally a sleep hygiene program includes the following:
- Do not drink caffeine after your morning cup.
- Eliminate other substances that interfere with sleep (alcohol or nicotine or drugs).
- Do not take naps.
- Do get some exercise every day but not after mid-afternoon.
- Set a reasonable bedtime and go to bed at the same time every night.
- Set up a safe and comfortable bedroom.
- Establish a “going to bed” routine. Something like bath, pajamas, brush teeth, meditation. Do the same thing every night.
- An hour before bedtime, get off all screens. No TV or reading in bed either. Put your phone in another room.
- If you wake during the night, don’t stay in bed longer than 10 minutes. Move to a chair and sit in the dark for awhile to settle down. You want your bed to be associated with sleep, not with tossing and turning.
It will take time to re-regulate your sleep. Establish the routine and stick with it for at least a month. I repeat: You do need to talk to a local therapist to individualize the routine for maximum help. You probably need some coaching for dealing with the anxiety disorder as well.
I wish you well.